Backyard Play Set #1: Let's build a children's play set...

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Blog entry by RobH posted 02-28-2008 04:50 AM 11656 reads 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Backyard Play Set series Part 2: Safety and Concept Drawings... »

Once again, the time has come. It is time to build a back yard playground for my two boys. Yes, I am still in the middle of the bunk beds right now, but I have a lot of planning and research to do. My plan on this project is to blog my way through it just as I work on it every day.

Back last year my wife started wanting to get the boys a play set for the back yard. Looking at all of our pre-built options, I came to the conclusion that I could probabl=y do a little better building this myself. All of the really nice stuff was going to cost us on the order of $2000.00 (+). Knowing us it would have been a whole lot of (+). So, I set out to start designing a play set in my head. Now, a year later, we are finally ready to start planning the build. We are going to have to buy the materials over several months, and the project, no doubt, will be spread over those months. I am really hoping that it will at least be usable by their birthday party on May 31. It would be nice to have it all done, but I would be satisfied if the platform is up and a slide is attached by then.

We know in our heads what we want to build. I know that the commercial sets are way too expensive for my budget. I know that there will be some things that I will have to buy, such as a slide. In the same respect, there are going to be a lot of things that I will build simply for the economics of the matter.

I am going to blog the project from the start which is right now. I will take you through the research that I do, the safety considerations that I am looking at, everything. Hopefully this will help me and you. If I overlook something, I hope someone speaks up. I will show you the drawings I am doing in Sketchup and the whole planning process. Then, of course, I will show you the building process which I plan to involve the little ones in quite heavily.

So, sit back, adjust your glasses and get a tall glass of tea. Enjoy the ride as we build a playground in my back yard.

-- -- Rob Hix, King George, VA

4 comments so far

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3919 days

#1 posted 02-28-2008 06:11 AM

Your Boys are lucky to have a dad that cares enough about enjoying time with them and doing special things with and for them it will become a memory much cherished by them and a good example of what a father should be. I will follow your adventure. Good luck

View Tony Z's profile

Tony Z

205 posts in 3785 days

#2 posted 02-28-2008 03:17 PM

I built a playset for my two kids a couple years ago. I got it done in a weekend. Here’s a tip, I got all the hardware( handles, swings, brackets, and climbing holds) off ebay for a great price. I think 6 plastic climbing holds from the Depot were 30.00, I got 50 professional quality holds off ebay for 40.00! A friend and I split them up. Also, I covered all the play surfaces with the cheapest composite decking I could find. It adds some cost to the project but it’s nice to not have to worry about splinters..

-- Tony, Ohio

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4120 days

#3 posted 02-29-2008 07:07 PM

Awesome! I look forward to the build.

When I was a kid my dad decided to build a swingset. I was either in late middle school or high school at the time, but it was built on an adult scale, and, as all such projects occur, final assembly happened in the twilight heading into dark.

I remember hoisting the, I think 6×6 uprights and 2×12 horizontals of the, structure with the shop lights pointing upwards, and thinking “holy cow, that thing is huge!” Kind of bittersweet now that we referred to it as “the twin towers”.

But, yeah, I did a lot of swinging along the ladder and rigging up a tight-rope and doing high school sort of workout things, even while my younger sisters got their exercise on it. And a good high pivot point for swings is always better!

Hope your project gets as much good use as ours did, I’ll be following along!

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View arcarius's profile


16 posts in 3701 days

#4 posted 04-14-2008 04:41 AM

Let me know how it goes. I am looking at building one for my daughter. I have some options of buying DIY packages like that gives me everything except the wood.

-- Young Padiwan Woodworker

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